Showing posts with label ruth harris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ruth harris. Show all posts

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Challenging Times

 

In Publishing News this week,


The Romance Writers of America has filed for bankruptcy. For many years this association was the biggest writer organization out there. They had huge conferences which were the industry standard. A series of scandals in the last few years has seen their membership dwindle from over 10,000 to around 3000 or less. This means they can’t pay for hotels which they used to book 5 years in advance for their big conferences. The bills are due. There is no money leading to the filing. It is not the end of the association, but tight times are ahead. Meanwhile, the way things have been left has annoyed some writers. 

 

When Simon and Schuster was up for sale, Meta (Facebook) was interested in acquiring it. Good E Reader reports from recordings shared with the New York Times that they didn’t want the publishing company really- only the content. This is a heads up for any other publishing companies going up for sale. You could get bought for AI training purposes.

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that Bloomsbury have bought the academic publishers Rowman Littlefield. This is their biggest ever acquisition and doubles their footprint in the US. Richard Charkin’s monthly column on the good and the not so good aspects of publishing has academic publishers in the profitable section, so an excellent bottom line for Bloomsbury. Academic publishing has a captive audience- much to the annoyance of academics.


Dan Holloway of The Alliance of Independent Authors has a quick rundown of the opposition by some of the corporate sponsor behind the Hay Literary Festival. Do you take the money and close your eyes to where it has come from? Can literary beggars be choosers?

 

Lorna Fergusson writes about getting the balance right when you go on a writing retreat. She has a list of very good advice to consider from planning to expectations to the type of experiences that could help or hinder the benefit you might get from it.

 

Christine Webb writes for Writers Digest about balancing humour and emotion in your books. Going too far one way or the other can wreck the reading experience.

 

So what does fear have to do with bad writing? Ruth Harris answers this question in her monthly column on Anne Allens blog. Is fear stopping you from what you really want to write?

 

Do you let your characters fill in backstory? John Kelley has an interesting article on Writer Unboxed about letting your minor characters fill in information. Stories within stories.

 

Suzanne Lakin has an interesting post on inner conflict. How well do you know your characters motivations? She has a series of questions to ask your character that reveals their inner conflicts and can give you great pointers on where to take the character in the story.

 

 

In The Craft Section,

How to use white space And How Did I Get Here - Sue Coletta- Bookmark


Crafting compelling backstory- Michelle Barker- Bookmark


Steadfast arcs vs flat arcs- September Fawkes


Introducing your characters- K M Weiland- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Using universal book links – Draft2Digital- Bookmark


Marketing forever mindset- Podcast- ALLI conference- Bookmark


Marketing to agents- Karen Whiting


5 tips for building superfans- Rachel Hanna- Bookmark


15 book promo ideas- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

It is always interesting to drop into Joanna Penn’s podcast. This week she has an interview with a former mental health nurse, Adam Beswick, about planning for success. Adam has a bestselling dark fantasy series using TikTok videos. He talks about going from being terrified to video himself to viral videos. It is an interesting interview on mindset and being open to new experiences. We send our characters on challenging journeys- shouldn’t we be challenging ourselves too?

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Photo by Michał Robak on Unsplash

 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

What Is The Real Story?


 

In Publishing News this week

 

The Independent Book Publishers Association is rebranding their main book awards and adding some new ones, reports Publishers Weekly. They are including many marginalized and diverse communities in their new categories.

 

Publishers Weekly is promoting a book to publishers about Disinformation and how to recognize it. With national elections coming up in nearly half the world- publishing the truth has never been more important.

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that the Sharjah Booksellers conference has grown to 76 countries participating. They are just wrapping up their successful gathering of booksellers and distributors.

 

Last week, I mentioned the viral post on book publishing that had people polarized over the future of the book industry. The week has seen a few more Op Ed’s. Here is a reasonably balanced one from Lincoln Michel published in Slate.

 

America’s National Public Radio has discovered that authors are using AI- they have an article on authors who are feeding AI their own work. But does this help you create anything new?

Meanwhile, there is still divided opinion whether Harper Collins partnering with Eleven Labs is a good thing. Harper Collins stress it is only looking at AI audio for their backlist. And now that they have started, watch everyone else do the same.

 

This week Ruth Harris looks at that problem when literary agents go bad. Do your due diligence and check out this great article. Over at Writer Beware, there is a great article on how a book really becomes a movie. Hint: It’s a hard slog.

 

Joanna Penn interviews Dan Blank on human centered marketing. This is a great podcast/transcript of getting comfortable about talking about what you write, whether it is to one person or Social Media.

 

Ingram Spark has an interesting article on creating Book Merch. They list all the places you can get it along with design ideas. Do you have a great setting for your books? Design the town’s business logos. Put it on a coaster. 

 

Ayesha Ali has a great post on Jane Friedman’s blog about opening scenes. She has 4 must have goals to really nail the scene. This is a print out and mull over post. 

Donald Mass has been thinking about imagination. How does the writer convey their imagination to the reader- does it ever happen? He has some words of wisdom for getting the reader and writer imagination working together.

 

In The Craft Section,

2 excellent posts from Becca Puglisi-7 growth milestones for character arc and The central conflict of your story- Becca Puglisi- Bookmark


12 Jungian archetypes to shape character- Now Novel


5 effective outlining techniques- Rachel Thompson


Yes or No questions in dialogue- Sue Coletta-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

How to record your own audiobook- Draft2Digital


Author website start points- R Shannon


FAQ on Book marketing with Book Machine PR- Bookmark


24 ways to promote your book or brand- Marika Flatt- Bookmark


Promoting your book with another author- Ingram Spark

 

To Finish

‘Won’t someone think of the children,’ has become a pop culture phrase culled from The Simpsons television series to lampoon a moralistic and narrow outlook. I confess to wincing and thinking these thoughts when I saw a news article about a horror movie being developed with those two out of copywrite characters, Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willie) version and Winnie the Pooh (A A Milne version). What’s next … Conan the Barbarian meets Little House on the Prairie? (2028)

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Michael Carruth on Unsplash

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Shopping For Ideas



 

In Publishing News This Week,

 

In a surprise move this week Small Press Distribution closed its doors. This came as a shock to all its clients who just 24 hours earlier were being told of their great new partnership with Ingram. Publisher’s Weekly reports on the news and what clients can do now to save their books.

 

Also making surprise moves is the Indigo Books and Music chain in Canada. They have sold the publicly listed company back in house and are taking it off the stock exchange. Indigo has been losing money and got hit with a cyber-attack that crippled them for months. Publisher’s Weekly reports that they are going back to the basics of bookselling which means selling books, not merchandise.

 

Spotify is continuing to roll out its premium audiobook service to customers. This week Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand are being wooed to sign up.

 

Publishing Perspectives reports that China’s publishing industry looks in good shape with kids’ books leading the way. Also, they have been experimenting with short form video to drive sales. I wonder where they learned that trick….

 

Italy has had a great culture card that they gifted to their 18 year olds to spend on books and theater experiences for a year. This propped up their publishing industry through Covid. Now Italy is tweaking the eligibility criteria and publishers are nervous. 

 

Fast Company magazine examines how Harper Collins has become more sustainable by tweaking their font and saving paper. 

 

Joanna Penn has been updating her Book Launch Blueprint  and she shares the chapter on Book Marketing. Meanwhile, Penny Sansevieri has some interesting thoughts on how to navigate book marketing when there is a tsunami of books being published.

 

Ruth Harris has a great post on listening to your subconscious. The muse has a thousand faces. But sometimes you have to get out of your own way to tap into that story telling gold.

 

Angela Ackerman is talking psychology this week. We are all hardwired for stories. Angela explains that writers need to tap into reader psychology and cognitive dissonance to write an unforgettable story.

 

Kristen Hacken South writes an interesting article on Writer Unboxed about emotional resonance. How much emotion is too much. How do you find the balance between flatline and melodrama. A great article.

 

In The Craft Section,

How to write a gripping inciting incident- Angie Andriot- Bookmark


Vonnegut’s rules for writers explained- James Scott Bell - Bookmark


How to choose story settings- K M Weiland - Bookmark


What are pinch points and where do they go- Sue Coletta- Bookmark


Set your intention first.- Sarah Hamer

 

In The Marketing Section,

Booktips to save money- Penny Sansevieri


Connection over promotion- Katie Sadler- Bookmark


Pros and cons of book giveaways- AJ Yee- Bookmark


Lead generation landing pages- Convertkit- Bookmark


How effective is social media?- Rachel Thompson


Easiest way to get Book Reviews- Bookmark

 

To Finish,

A couple of times a year Kris Rusch curates a writing craft book collection on Storybundle. You pay what you like to get access to some great ebooks. If you pay over a particular threshold you get the whole bundle with exclusives, extras, and support a worthwhile charity. The money goes directly to the authors, so this is a win/win/win. It is a limited time offer so check it out and score some bargains. I have filled up my Kindle with great craft books from these bundles over the years. Don’t forget, you can claim writing craft books on your tax.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to buy me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Photo by Eduardo Soares on Unsplash

 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Are We Really Scoring?

 


In Publishing News this week...


The fall out from the Hugo Award controversy has continued (see last week) and now members of the committee have been pushed out the airlock. Locus Magazine has the news release on who and why the award committee members have got the chop.

 

Gobbling up smaller publishers is still a menu item. Publishers Weekly reports Greenleaf partnering with Wonderwell. Partnering implies equal status … No. If you read between the lines they’ve dumped everyone, kept the name and boss to ‘run’ the imprint and terminated the authors. 

 

Goodereader has an interesting article on Spotify paying tens of millions to audiobook publishers. Everybody is waiting for someone to announce they got paid from Spotify streaming their audiobooks. Any numbers? Is it worth it? Mark Williams has his usual acerbic take on whether Spotify is good for publishing- If it takes chunks out of Audible he is all for it. Meanwhile, Audible and Storytel are tightening belts.

 

Lithub comes out on the side of Lana Bastašić who had a blistering response to a German Literary Festival dropping her letting over comments about the war in Gaza. They reprint the letters in full. Ouch!

 

Simon and Schuster are celebrating 100 years in the business. In 1924 they started with a crossword puzzle book to take advantage of the puzzle craze sweeping the world. They are profiling the most influential books they have published in 100 years. (Their founder, Richard Simon also gave the world Carly Simon - So they can be vain this once.)

 

Debbie Burke reminds us there is always more to learn about publishing, right when you think you know it all. Elizabeth Craig has a great article on Keeping up with Writing and Business. You can’t have one without the other so figure out how to use your time. She has great tips.

Sue Coletta has a great article on Mindset- writing is like turning an elephant… 

 

Ruth Harris has an interesting article on Sex. When should it be used? Is it overused?  Should you just leave the door closed? 

 

In The Craft Section,

How to write Fantasy Characters- Krystal Craiker- Bookmark


Picture Book Critique questions- Mindy Weiss


Characterize with clothing choices- Becca Puglisi


How to generate powerful story conflict- Angel Ackerman- Bookmark


How to show emotion in characters who hide their feelings- Eldred Bird- Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Improve your book rank by updating book descriptions- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


5 key areas to check to boost sales- Top Author


7 simple steps to start building your brand- Chase Neely


Book marketing overwhelm- Sandra Beckwith- Bookmark


Back cover copy formula – Sue Coletta - Bookmark

 

To Finish,

Recently Draft2Digital hosted a heavy hitters podcast looking at the publishing world of 2023 and forward into 2024. Mark Coker, Orna Ross, Jane Friedman, Joanna Penn and Dale Roberts all shared their thoughts about the big things to think about in publishing and the changes occurring. Joanna termed 2024 as Year Zero. It’s a great podcast to get you thinking about your writing and publishing career going forward.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic Photo by Joppe Spaa on Unsplash

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Taking Time

 


 

In Publishing News this week,

 

I received an email from Google Play telling me about the exciting changes they are making to AI narrated audiobooks- Voices, lots of voices, enough for a cast of characters. They are upping the auto narration stakes. Other audiobook producers offer this feature for a fee. Google just rolls it into their free audiobook creation. AI is disrupting audio books. However, if you are thinking about the magic bakery of IP creation, (Dean Wesley Smith’s great analogy - he has a book on the subject) then AI audio is just one facet of audio, like author narrated or actor narrated or radio play version with a full cast of characters. 

 

Over in Europe Bookwire has been expanding its audiobook service - Sign up with them and get your audiobook translated into five languages.

 

As I am a children’s writer, I like to keep one eye on what is happening in that marketplace. Over 25% of China’s book trade are children’s books and at the moment they are going crazy for Manga Non-Fiction.

 

Mark Williams highlighted the plight of Afghanistan publishing. Since they cracked down on girls attending school the book trade has died by 50%. Who knew that girls reading kept an economy going? Mark wants the publishing industry to remember the missing readers. Today I saw a picture of a bombed out library in Gaza and felt grief for the missing readers there. The freedom to read safely is a privilege we often take far too lightly here in the western world. Just think about the lawsuits to let kids read books in the largest democracy in the world. It could happen in a town near you.

 

Richard Charkin writes about publishing in the good old days… he discusses the traditional publishing fondness for territory rights instead of language rights. Do we really need an American English version of a book published in England? And why do we have different covers?

 

Sue Coletta has a stunning post – What type of Writer and Reader are you? Our brains process information through one of our five senses… So which type are you?

 

Katie Weiland has a brilliant post on Time Management for Writers. There are some gems in this article.

 

Chuck Wendig is wondering about Social Media now that we have to be everywhere or is it nowhere… or somewhere. If you are feeling bewildered by new Social Media - read Chuck. At least you will laugh.

 

Tzivia Gover has a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog about Journals and Dreams: The Unsung Heroes of Literature. Have you been writing your dreams down?

 

Ruth Harris has a great article on writers’ advice. Let the experts help you to craft those sparkling passages. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club” - Jack London.

 

In The Craft Section,

What sleeping with Jane Eyre taught me about pacing- Heidi Croot


Rewriting- keep your eyes open and your ego closed- P J Parrish- Bookmark


Create personal writing timelines- Cindy Sproles- Bookmark


Five Elements of relationship plot lines- September Fawkes- Bookmark


Writing in scenes- Paula Munier


Are your characters living in the moment?- Janice Hardy

 

In The Marketing Section,

Christmas Book Promotions and strategies- PublishDrive- Bookmark


Boost your holiday sales- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


How to Newsletter swap- Sandra Beckwith


15 must have resources for authors- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Use TikTok to sell books-Joe Yamulla


To Finish,

Why do our brains impact our self confidence? We remember the bad reviews not the good ones. We absorb only the savage critique not where our writing sang. How can we combat our confirmation bias?- Kasey LeBlanc has the answer.

 

This week Joanna Penn talked to a serial writer and entrepreneur. If you have been thinking about subscription based writing and the creator economy – check out the interview with Reem Co Founder Michael Evans- he’s been writing books for 7 years. With everything he has been doing it’s hard to believe he’s only 21.

 

Time stays long enough for those who use it - Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.


If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.


If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Taking A Moment To Breathe



 

This week in Publishing News.


Oh Scholastic, it hasn’t been a good month for your public relations. Today the publishing professionals that work at Scholastic Head Office walked out and started picketing over the un-living wages they were getting from a billion dollar company.

 

In the Wow-they-finally-did-it-stakes, Amazon’s publishing arm KDP announced they were beta testing eBook to audio narration using AI Voices. These will be sold through Audible. Cue jaw drops as they were adamant they weren’t getting into the AI voice game… but Google has already been in this space for a while so it was always on the cards. 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard has some pithy observations regarding Amazon’s quarterly report- one mention of books vs 33 mentions of AI.

 

Amazon is back in court – this time taking scammers the down. Yay. Staying on the scammy front Victoria Strauss has a Writer Beware post on impersonation scamming which is on the increase. She shows how it is done and breaks down how to spot the warning flags in her real scam examples. A week doesn’t go by now without coming across some impersonation scam or an author checking in with others to ask if the email they have just got is legit. 

Today I saw advice that recommended sending a screenshot to the agency in question and just checking if it is legit. – Good advice.

 

Written Word Media has been making news with its promo stack partners. They have been busy signing up other ebook reader sites to create big promotion stack opportunities for marketing for authors. Their latest press release has them adding another heavy hitter to the fold.

 

November is the month of NaNoWriMo. Good luck to all those who are attempting to write 50,000 words in a month. The idea behind it was to create a writing habit so even if you make a practice of just showing up every day, you are winning. Roz Morris has a good post on how to get through the month. 

There are various ways to win at NaNowriMo. You can record your word count for everything you write in November or do the ALT NaNoWriMo challenge.

 

 Jane Friedman has two guest writers on her blog with two very different approaches to writing and marketing. Check out How do you turn an essay into a book deal and an interesting post on How to earn six figures as a writer with one weird trick. 


Ruth Harris has an excellent post on radical revision- When the going gets tough get your radical creativity muse on. This is a print out and post it on the wall post.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive guide post on producing audiobooks. This covers pretty much everything you need to know to get started.

 

Katie Weiland has a knock it out of the park post on despair in fiction. This is one of those craft posts that inspire authors to the next level of writing- A Must Read.


In The Craft Section,

Protagonists and points of view- Draft2Digital


Mastering character evolution-Laurie Schnebly Campbell- Bookmark


The enemy within- crafting powerful inner conflict- C S Lakin- Bookmark!


I broke Elmore Leonard’s Rules- P J Parrish


3 ways to structure a chapter- Anne Brown-Bookmark

 

In The Marketing Section,

Subgenres and comp books- Kris Maze


Ways book marketers use social media to promote pre-orders- Bookbub- Bookmark


5 unique book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark


How to create fun freebies for your newsletter- Colleen Story- Bookmark


Podcasting magic bullet- Alliance of Independent Authors podcast /transcript


Marketing resources- Foothills Writers group

 

To Finish,

Recently Joanna Penn spoke with Tracy Cooper-Posy on managing your author business long term. It was a fascinating long look at what is worthwhile to invest in and how to manage discouragement. This is one of those posts where you nod and start to make notes and think about stepping sideways of the hamster wheel. 

It’s hard to focus on your writing business when you feel that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. This overwhelm can be energy sapping and creativity stalling. 

Do what you can and give yourself time to breathe.

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Reading: It’s all in the mind


 

 

In Publishing News this week.


The Writer’s Strike is over (provisionally.)

Many Film and TV writers are hailing this as a landmark ruling for the way it is putting constraints on the use of AI in their industry. As the news filters out, everyone is eager to look at the terms and commenting on why the networks and producers only started to negotiate 10 days ago. 

 

The Atlantic published a search database you can use to see whether your books have been scraped to train an AI. Many writers have discovered their whole catalogue on there. SSF writers have been especially hard hit. But today I learned an academic family member had two of her textbooks scraped. The Authors Guild has got their lawyers onto it and have published a template take down notice as well as a What To Do Now statement.

 

Meanwhile, in other AI news the AI industry is looking for poets or anyone who has an MFA to teach their AI’s how to write lyrical language. 

 

There is a publishing world outside the western centric one. Nairobi is about to have their International Book Fair and they have added a rights market into their programme. Guests are coming from around the world. Publishing Perspectives looks at what is on offer.

 

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard takes a look at the new sales pot for Kindle Unlimited and compares it to the Print figures which have been sliding.

 

Staying with Amazon, the book business applauded when the Federal Trade Commission of the United States began an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon. Take 17 state attorneys and 172 pages and stir in the words uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power and you get a lawsuit that will take years to unravel. At least it’s a start.

 

You have finished the book and now you have to edit it. Where do you start? Kobo has the answer. How to edit your first draft.

 

Kris Rusch is a power house and there is nothing in publishing that she has not done. The big chat around the Indie publishing community is owning your own store and selling there first before going out to the online distributors. This week she talks about merchandise and all things store related with the launch of her first series store. Take a look and have your mind blown.

 

When an Indie Press ceases to be, it makes the publishing world a little gloomier. Louise Walters writes about the hard decision to shut her press and her thoughts on why Indie Presses need more love from bookshops.

 

Are you struggling with Social Media? Ambre Leffler has an interesting post on managing your energy and your posts.

 

Have you been asked to Beta read or are you wondering about how to set up parameters for your Beta readers. Jae from Sapphicquill has a great checklist for authors to use.

If you just need a reason to read, check out Molly Templeton’s 21 thoughts about reading habits.

 

The Bookbub website is chock full of interesting articles on writing and marketing books . This week they have a comprehensive 140 tips for book marketing from AJ Lee

 

In The Craft Section,

3 ways to use Theme to deepen your story- Sharon Skinner


Changing the hero’s goal- Michael Hauge- Bookmark


Tropes as a jumping off point- Richard Thomas- Bookmark


Tips for writing a character that you hate- Sue Coletta


Transition sentences- Ruth Harris- Bookmark 


Using Description- Kathy Steinemann

 

In The Marketing Section,

2 great posts from Penny Sansevieri 7 creative ways to boost local book sales and

Holding book events in non-traditional venues- Bookmark


Identifying the 5 core ideas of your book- Judith Briles-Bookmark


3 design secrets for captivating book ads- Teresa Conner-Bookmark


How to glo up your Instagram- Lara Ferrari

 

To Finish,

Every year The Alliance of Independent Authors run 3 virtual 24 hour conferences. Each of these conferences are themed around a different skillset for authors and are filled with a wealth of information. The next conference is on Mindset. They have a great line up of speakers well known in the author community. (Spot the Kiwis.)

Sign up. It’s free. 

 

Maureen

@craicer

 

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter? You can subscribe here to join our happy band.

 

If you want the weekly blog in your inbox subscribe to the Substack version.

 

If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top or here. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

 

Pic: Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

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